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Re^4: Learning Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Perl

by tilly (Archbishop)
on May 01, 2009 at 21:54 UTC ( #761416=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: Learning Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Perl
in thread Learning Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Perl

When I speak of a significant portion of hackers, I am not speaking of any particular one. I am not surprised that you'd have learned the formal definition.

Although I have to disagree on how extreme your dismissal is. Absolutely big-O is useful as a starting point and means of informal discussion. However it also provides a framework for how to think about performance, and that can go a lot farther. Being aware of big-O has helped me predict how well real systems will scale, understand bottlenecks, and multiple times has given me a sense as to whether a given implementation's performance is reasonable, or whether a performance mistake needs to be tracked down.


Comment on Re^4: Learning Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Perl
Re^5: Learning Fundamentals: Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Perl
by BrowserUk (Pope) on May 02, 2009 at 05:46 UTC

    My point wasn't that I know it. More that I knew it once, but probably could not have recalled it accurately for most of of my career and never missed the absence of the recall. I've never had the need to establish the formal, algorithmic complexity of any given algorithm in the real-world, since I learnt the formal methods involved. But the informal appreciation of what the notation means has allowed me to discuss algorithms without worrying too much about the fine distinctions.


    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

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